A Texas woman was awarded a $1.2 billion settlement after a Houston-area jury ruled she was the victim of revenge porn. 

The woman, who went by her initials D.L. in court documents, filed a harassment lawsuit in April 2022 in Harris County against her former boyfriend Marques Jamal Jackson. According to the suit, Jackson posted intimate images of his ex-girlfriend, obtained while they were dating, onto social media platforms and adult websites “with the intent to embarrass, harass, torment, humiliate, and publicly shame” her.  

The lawsuit also accuses Jackson of tapping into the plaintiff’s mother’s home security system to spy on D.L. after the two broke up, as well as sending links to her friends and family to sites where intimate images of her had been uploaded. 

A symbolic win

The billion-dollar settlement offers a symbolic win for victims of “imaged-based sexual abuse,” known as “revenge porn,” which is used to inflict “a combination of psychological abuse, domestic violence and sexual abuse,” the plaintiff’s attorney, Bradford J. Gilde of Gilde Law Firm, said in a statement.

“While a judgment in this case is unlikely to be recovered, the compensatory verdict gives D.L. back her good name,” Gilde said. “The punitive verdict also is the jury’s plea to raise awareness of this tech-fueled national epidemic.”

D.L. joins a growing list of revenge porn cases where victims have been awarded large sums. In 2021, a Maryland woman won $500,000 from a Michigan man who posted nude photographs of her online, the Detroit Free Press reported. A California woman was awarded $6.45 million after her ex-boyfriend shared nude pictures and videos of her online.

Nearly all 50 states — including Texas — have passed laws banning revenge porn with the exception of Massachusetts and South Carolina. 

“Despicable activity”

Jackson and D.L. began dating in 2016 and, soon after starting their relationship, the pair moved to Chicago where Jackson had been offered a job, court documents state. During their relationship, D.L. was comfortable sharing intimate images of herself with Jackson. 

However, soon after the pair broke up in October 2021 and D.L. moved back to Texas, Jackson began posting D.L.’s private images online between, the lawsuit claims. Court documents show that one of Jackson’s final messages to D.L. read, “You will spend the rest of your life trying and failing to wipe yourself off the internet. Everyone you ever meet will hear the story and go looking.”

Jackson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Monday. 

“We will forever admire D.L.’s courage in fighting back,” Gilde said. “We hope the staggering amount of this verdict sends a message of deterrence and prevents others from this engaging in this despicable activity,” he added.